Monday, October 4, 2010

Femininity and Raunch Culture

My focus on feminism is not in the sense that its all about woman’s rights and their power over the male/masculine culture. Instead it’s about the search for the definition of what it means to be masculine and feminine. Pulling on the idea that race is more focused on gender and the role of that gender than the look at the individual from where their heritage is. In our culture, we categorize jobs, behaviors and eating habits at masculine or feminine. Even in the constitution of marriage, the women is supposed to take on the man’s last name as a way of dominance that his name is more important of a legacy to uphold. However, recently trends have been changing on the last name situation. Some women choose to keep their last name and ignore their husband’s last name. Others hyphenate their last name and some make their husbands take on the female’s last name. I was having a discussion about this topic with several women that have recently been married. One of the individuals I talked to said that she was proud to take on his last name. It was a way to show how much she loved him. Another lady I talked to didn’t know whether she wanted to give up her last name. She had told me that she really likes her last name and she has to force herself to getting used to the idea of writing everything with a new last name. On a more emotional stance, my sister-in-law has insisted on keeping her maiden name instead of taking on my brother’s name. She is going through a hard time in her life in which she had a baby and got married really early in her life and she wasn’t ready for the big changes. She hasn’t quite grasped her identity yet and isn’t ready to take on a new name. In time, I hope she will be ready to take on her new life and her new last name with my brother. This whole last name issue has been something that I myself have been thinking about. I just recently got engaged and I love my last name. I feel like my name sounds so much better as it is and would sound really funny with my new last name. I have been thinking about hyphenating it because I already have four names (my first name, two middle names and a last name) and I think it would be awesome to have five names (outside of being Hispanic). However, I know that my fiancé wants me to drop my maiden name and take on his so we are going to have a lot of discussion before anything is final.

Also within the idea of feminism comes the idea of raunch culture in that media has embraced the promiscuous women as being a stronger more self reliant woman. When we discussed this in my pop culture class and re-read the section in Barker’s “Cultural Studies” book, I immediately thought of the show Desperate Housewives. I really don’t watch it, but the few episodes I have come across is all about this wife having an affair with her neighbors husband and all the other wives seeking out other lovers. In essence, it’s a neighborhood of drama. Either way that is the essence of raunch culture, those women are not afraid to show off their sexuality and be naughty. In a way it shows that women can be confident and strong in whom they are and realize they are beautiful women. In other senses, it can be seen as a bit too promiscuous and that it is borderline soft-core pornography. What do you think about raunch culture?

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